Looking Back on.. The Land Before Time Series Movies 7, 8 & 9
By this point I had no idea these movies were still coming out and I’m guessing that no one else in my generation did either as we had moved on to bigger and better things such as pro wrestling. It also seems that it was a transitional period for the franchise as DVD was taking over, the production now became more digital and they also started to feel a bit embarrassed by the numbered sequels as they were not emphasized as much. For all these reasons they took a break of one year 1999 where they didn’t make a sequel which they had been doing since 1994.
The Land Before Time VII: The Stone of Cold Fire
This movie while a bit lackluster does bring some interesting things to the franchise, first of all we get to see a few flashbacks set during the time of the original movie and we see a little of what the adults were doing at that time. It also introduces two unique characters that while seemed to be the new bad guys of the movie turn out to be good guys and the twist about them is that it’s implied that they’re from another planet…so aliens educating dinosaurs! So a few new things to the franchise and overall another sequel that is mostly inoffensive.
The movie begins with a meteor that had a different color and nobody believing Little Foot because it’s how things go. We get to meet Petrie’s Uncle Pterano who was banished and the adults don’t want the group to hang out around him. The Rainbow Faces who are the alien dinosaurs encourage Little Foot and the rest to go find it as it can have a magical power and Pterano also wants to as well. Pterano has his own pterodactyl friends who are up to no good and want the power for themselves. Eventually Petrie’s Uncle is able to redeem himself in the end for his past mistakes.
The Land Before Time VIII: The Big Freeze
Somehow we get to an Ice Age inspired story with the Big Freeze as the Great Valley is once again not that great again after snow falls on the valley and it doesn’t go away meaning that they have nothing to eat yet again. The story revolves around Mr. Thicknose who is an elder triceratops that people go to him for any advice and educating the younglins’. We later find out that he’s sort of a fraud and isn’t as well travelled as he tried to come off and eventually they find food to eat until the snow eventually melts.
Here we finally see Spike and Ducky get a little more focus on this sequel as some migrating Stegosaurus’ come and they want to show Spike their ways. This creates jealousy as Ducky is not happy that Spike is having fun with other people and even meeting his own significant other with Tippy. Eventually things go back to normal as they all learn who Spike’s true family is. The Ice Age plot is not enough to keep you entertained but the subplot makes up for it.
The Land Before Time IX: Journey to Big Water
Out of the three movies we’ve looked at today this is easily the worst one even though it tried to come up with an interesting enough story. We have a flood from a lot of “sky water” and now there are plenty of bodies of water that lead from the ocean all the way to the great valley. Water is something that we haven’t really explored before but because they’re land dinosaurs we really can’t explore this aspect too much and since there isn’t enough else going on here it just doesn’t work out.
We get to meet Mo who is a dolphin like prehistoric sea creature who becomes friends with the gang, at first only Little Foot can see him so they all think he’s gone psycho which is always cool in my book. Later everyone meets him and we see alongside the big water we also got a marine reptile that wants to do mean things because he’s a carnivour. Mo thinks he’s stuck there but eventually finds a way to go back to the ocean and everyone is both happy and sad that he’s able to return since he became another friend in the franchise and now we’re moving into Sonic the Hedgehog territory with the number of friends they meet in these movies.
I think for most of the movies here while not ground breaking aren’t truly bad, these are by far the weakest sequels so far as they don’t offer enough new but that we can put in the “could be worse, John. Could be a lot worse.” Category. It’s still trying hard to come up with new aspects but it’s getting more difficult or they just don’t care as much anymore, I mean we’ve had 8 sequels by now. Kids and the hardcore are the only ones that have made it so far to all these numbered sequels.
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